Photos by Jeff Rumans

The Birthday Party

by Harold Pinter
Directed by Bruce Roach
August 16 – September 11, 2011

Meg – Melinda McCrary
Goldberg – Mark Robbins
McCann – Brian Paulette
Petey – Robert Gibby Brand
Stanley – TJ Chasteen
Lulu – Kelly Gibson


The Birthday Party was the first full-length offering from British playwright Harold Pinter, who is now widely regarded as the theatre’s master of enigma and menace. The play takes us to a godforsaken seaside guest house run by Meg and her husband Petey. The only guest is Stanley, a former pianist with a shady past, upon whom Meg dotes. Into this uneasy family come two additional guests, a pair of suspiciously underworldly types who seem to have some unfinished business with Stanley. The style of The Birthday Party swings from the broadly comic to the deeply unnerving, with a nod to the absurd along the way. It’s easy to see why The Sunday Times critic Harold Hobson, responding to the first production of The Birthday Party, wrote that “Pinter, on the evidence of this work, possesses the most original, disturbing and arresting talent in theatrical London.”

Director – Bruce Roach
Scene Design – Gary Moseby
Costume Design – Megan Turek
Lighting Design – Victor En Yu Tan
Sound Design – Dan Warneke
Composer – Greg Mackender
Stage Manager – Jim Mitchell

“…Kansas City Actors Theatre is presenting a rare treat for these parts: not one but four of Pinter’s plays, including his celebrated early work The Birthday Party, in absolutely top-drawer – and delightfully funny – performances that will keep me pondering for months to come.”
— Paul Horsley, The Independent

“…some exceptional performances and consistently captures Pinter’s unpredictable sense of humor.”
— Robert Trussell, The Kansas City Star